Setting Goals & Expectations

There are four steps managers and employees should take to set goals.

1. Establish Cascade Goals

Cascade Goals are organizational goals set at the organization or team level. Some units choose to establish a cascade goal at the senior leadership level and push that goal to all staff. These goals are administered in Workday and become visible to the employee once entered.

It is possible to have more than one Cascade Goal and this feature can be administered by a manager to their direct reports. You can review the Job Aid mentioned below for more information.

2. Review the Job Responsibilities Worksheet (JRW)

While it is not required that the JRW be reviewed and updated in order to participate in the performance review process, it is a best practice to review the JRW yearly. Reviewing job responsibilities and ensuring they are up to date may inform goal setting.

For more information on the JRW and how to complete it, visit the Compensation and Classification webpage.

3. Reviewing Information and Training Resources

If you are new to the Penn State performance review process or need a refresher, there are a variety of Job Aids and Training opportunities.

Training Resources

  • Setting Goals & Expectations for Individual Contributors (Live Zoom Session)
  • Setting Goals & Expectations for Managers (Live Zoom Session)
  • Participant Guide – Individual Contributors
  • Participant Guide – Managers
  • Adding Goals in Workday (Video Training)

Office Hours

These are open sessions that allow individuals to “drop in” on Zoom to ask a question. They are staffed by Talent Management team members.

Job Aids

The following Job Aids are available in the Knowledge Base:

  • Setting Goals in Workday
  • Adding and Editing Goals in Workday
  • Cascading Goals in Workday
  • Frequently Asked Questions

4. Set 2-5 Goals

Working with their manager, employees identify goals for the coming year. Goals focus on a blend of topics that include direct support for organizational objectives as well as personal development objectives. The “Setting Goals & Expectations” trainings and “Setting Goals in Workday” job aid provide detailed information on goal setting best practices, but here are some important tips:

  • Do not exceed 5 goals – they become too cumbersome to manage and it is not realistic to focus on more than 5 “priorities”
  • Follow SMART goal concepts – identify what success will look like
  • Set realistic due dates – goal duration may be a month, quarter, semester, year or more

Questions should be submitted via an inquiry from the WorkLion – select “Talent Management/Workplace Learning” as the topic.